Back on Track Conference Speaker List


This is a past event from December 1, 2017.



Adam Palmer, Vancouver Police Chief Constable – Opening Comments
Adam Palmer has been with the Vancouver Police Department since 1987. He has been the Chief Constable for the Vancouver Police Department since May 6th, 2015. Before he joined the Vancouver Police Department, he studied Business Administration at Simon Fraser University and worked as a Correctional Officer. Adam Palmer was involved in the Operational Review project which led to improved departmental business practices and more police officers and civilian staff positions. This research gained interest from across North America and abroad and resulted in Chief Palmer being invited to speak at other police agencies and international police conferences. Adam Palmer has been invested as a Member of the Order of Merit for the Police Forces by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada. Furthermore, in 2017, he was promoted to Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada due to his tremendous leadership and service.



John Daly, Reporter and Radio Show Host, CKNW – Moderator
John Daly is a reporter and radio show host. He worked for Global BC from 1980 until he retired in 2016. He now does a weekly radio show “Daly – Back on the Beat” on Saturday’s for CKNW. He has taught interviewing techniques and investigative reporting at BCIT and UBC Continuing Education and is frequently an invited speaker for professional organizations and conferences on the demands of the news media and where it’s headed. Of all of his accolades, he is most proud of receiving the first Webster Award which was for the best reporting of the year throughout any medium. John Daly always believed in the importance of reporters and did whatever was necessary to bring stories to the public, he would always ask himself “if this story never gets told, what are the implications?”.



Vancouver Police Officers Mark Steinkampf and Dave Steverding
David and Mark will be presenting about “The Odd Squad Beat: Understanding Fentanyl”, 3 part series to be released by Odd Squad. In this series, Module 1 will be the Overview, Module 2 will be about the Personal and Community Impact, and Module 3 will be about the Treatment and Prevention.
See below, “Odd Squad Productions Society Team” section for their biographies.



Kevin A. Sabet, PHD, Director of the Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida, President of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marihuana) – “Drugs and Youth”
Author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years. He is currently the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and the President of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). His book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort (Midpoint) in 2013. In 2011, he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration.



Sam Jingfors, Director of Services for Safer Schools Together – “Social Media and Youth, the Trends”
Sam is the Director of Services for Safer Schools Together and delivers safe school related trainings throughout the organization. He manages the fast-paced Safer Schools Together Social Media Team and is the lead developer and trainer of the “Digital Threat Assessment” Training day that has been delivered across North America. Sam comes from a background in the study of criminal behaviour and has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. Sam spent over five years working on the front line of the Surrey School District in their Safe Schools Department responding to emergent safety and security issues around the entire district. Sam maintains to this a day a Reliability RCMP security clearance.



Dr. Bill MacEwan, Head of Psychiatry, St Paul’s Hospital – “Housing and Mental Health
Dr. MacEwan is Head of Psychiatry at St. Paul’s Hospital and is the clinical lead in the Hotel Study, a cohort study of the health, addiction and mental health of 500 residents of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Dr. MacEwan has worked in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for the last 14 years and is currently focusing on the needs of individuals served by Downtown Community Court. This approach is coordinated with the Primary Outreach Service (POS) of Vancouver Coastal Health and with St. Paul’s Hospital Urban Psychiatry program.



Dr. Mark McLean, medical lead of the Rapid Access Addictions Clinic – “W.H.O., U.N., Health Canada, and C.D.C (Atlanta) drug prevention strategies



Doug Rogers, M. Ed, ME, CCAC, CCADC, ICADC, Substance Abuse Prevention Counselor for SD#22 (Vernon) – “Substance Abuse Prevention and Teens, what works?”
Doug Rogers is the Substance Abuse Prevention Counsellor for SD#22 (Vernon). He has taught for over 27 years in Vancouver, Burnaby, Vernon and Washington State and has given hundreds of workshops and presentations throughout British Columbia and the Western United States. Doug has undergraduate degrees from UBC (BPE, B.Ed) and postgraduate degrees from both UBC (MPE) and UVIC (M.Ed). He is also a Canadian (CCADC, CCAC) and internationally certified alcohol and drug counselor (ICADC). The main focus of his work and research in SD#22 is to support students and families so that they can live healthy and drug free lives.



Carla Webb, Co – Former VPD officer, Co – Founder of Empowered by Horses, Founder of Unbridled Potential and Standing Six – “Equine Assisted Therapy for Youth”
Carla Webb is a former 13-year member of the Vancouver Police Department and life-long horsewoman. After working the Downtown Eastside beat and witnessing the devastating effects of drug addiction, Carla was determined to find a solution that not only focused on prevention and education but empowered youth to make healthier lifestyle choices in the recovery from trauma. With this goal in mind she co-founded Empowered By Horses. As her vision grew, Carla founded Unbridled Potential, an academy dedicated to forging safe, respectful and trusting bonds between horses and people. Most recently, Carla set in progress Standing Six, an equine support system for First Responders to restore and maintain health and wellness. All her programs celebrate individuality while promoting teamwork and community spirit.



Sandy Avelar, Vancouver Police Detective, founding member of “Her Time” a gang intervention program – “Female Focused Anti-gang Presentation”
Detective Sandy Avelar has over 20 years of policing experience with the Vancouver Police Department. She has worked throughout the city and is currently in the Organized Crime Section’s Gang Crime Unit. Detective Avelar has devoted the majority of her career to youth work and antigang policing. Sandy also serves as a Tactical Advisor in the Vancouver Police Department’s Public Safety Unit. Outside of work, Detective Avelar, who is well known to many Vancouver youth as “Constable Avie”, volunteers her time on the Board of Directors for the Boys Club Network, a group devoted to youth anti-violence initiatives. Through her years of experience, Detective Avelar found there to be a missing piece regarding education and outreach for young women who are involved in organized crime. Because of this, Detective Avelar joined together with Detective Anisha Parhar to create “Her Time”.



Anisha Parhar, Vancouver Police Detective, founding member of “Her Time” a gang intervention program – “Female Focused Anti-gang Presentation”
Detective/Constable Anisha Parhar is in her ninth year with the Vancouver Police Department. Constable Parhar is currently working within the Vancouver Police Gang Crime Unit and is actively involved in anti- gang initiatives. Prior to joining the Vancouver Police, Constable Parhar worked for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of BC within the intelligence section. It was clear to Anisha that there was a lack of support and education for the females involved in the world of organized crime, it was with that obvious void that Constable Parhar pursued the idea of ‘Her Time’, a female focused anti -gang initiative.



Susan Payne, Director of Safe Schools at Colorado the Attorney General’s Office, Founder and Director of Safe2Tell Prevention Initiative – “Preventing Violence in Schools and Communities”
Susan Payne, a 25‐year law enforcement veteran, is the Founder and the Director of Safe2Tell prevention initiative – a program with a focus of preventing violence in schools and communities. She currently serves on the Colorado Prevention Leadership Council, Behavioral Health Planning Advisory Council, Colorado School Safety Resource Center’s Board of Directors, Colorado 9 to 25, Colorado Department of Education Project Aware State Management Advisory Board, FBI Averted Plan School Attack Task Force, and the Not One More Child Task Force. She has served on the Drug Endangered Children Task Force, the Kidpower Board of Directors, Crime Stoppers International Board of Directors, Rocky Mountain Hostage Negotiation Network, and the Positive Behavioral Intervention Support Advisory Council, and as the President of the multi‐state federal task force, White Collar Investigative Network.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education have recognized Susan as a subject matter expert in school safety and prevention strategies, and she is often sought out by media, schools, and law enforcement for her expertise. She has been invited to present at the White House multiple times. She is recognized as a national expert on prevention, intervention, awareness, education, and training for school safety. Susan also consults with Legislative Committees, Emergency Management planning teams, crisis response teams, schools and law enforcement throughout the U.S.



Dr. Marvin Krank, Professor of Psychology, former Dean of Graduate Studies, UBC – “Promoting Healthy Messages Through Unconscious Influences”
Dr. Krank is Professor of Psychology and former Dean of Graduate Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus. He co-chaired the Canadian Council on Substance Abuse committees on Prevention Standards and served on the United Nations scientific advisory committee on prevention program evaluation.
His talk will focus on social and cognitive influences leading to the development of substance abuse in teens and young adults. Over the past twenty years he has studied the unrealistic thoughts and beliefs held by youth that lead to risky substance use. Youth overestimate how much others use and expect mostly positive effects from use. Understanding the source of these biases gives new insights into how effective prevention works. Currently, he is testing a new prevention materials designed to change biased thinking to delay substance use and reduce substance abuse in teens and university students.

Odd Squad Productions Society Team


Mark Steinkampf
Sergeant Mark Steinkampf has been a police officer with the VPD for 26 years. Mark has served on the streets of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver for 15 years. He is one of the founding members of Odd Squad Productions Society. With his work at Odd Squad, Mark has been involved in the production and filming of numerous national and international documentaries. His awards include the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada. Mark has given presentations to over 100,000 youth. He is also a founding member and instructor at SFU Police Judo.



David Steverding
David Steverding is a constable for the Vancouver Police Department. He has been a part of the Vancouver Police Department for 13 years and is currently working in District 2, which encompasses the Downtown Eastside, as a member of the Beat Enforcement Team. David has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from Carleton University. David has been a longstanding member of Odd Squad Productions Society and has helped out with production and filming of various national and international documentaries and educational films. David helps out with Police Judo and runs the Peer to Peer Program for Odd Squad Productions Society in the North Shore. David Steverding has given many presentations on drug education, prevention and addiction.



Toby Hinton
Sergeant Toby Hinton has been with the VPD for 28 years. He is currently a Force Options Sergeant and previously was on a beat for most of his 24 years working on the street. He is currently the Executive Director for Odd Squad Productions Society. He has helped direct and produce many educational documentaries for Odd Squad as well as short videos for the VPD. Toby Hinton is also one of the founders of Police Judo and is the head instructor of SFU Police Judo Club. He has given drug education presentations and Police Judo sport clinics throughout North America and Mexico. Toby’s professionalism has been recognized through receiving numerous awards including two Governor General Awards and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community Service.



Chris Graham
Chris Graham, General Manager for Odd Squad Productions Society, retired from the VPD in 2011, after 26 years of service. His policing experience has included six years of patrol in the Downtown Eastside, three years as a School Liaison Officer and several years as a Detective in the Major Crime Section, drug and homicide squads. Chris is the Executive Producer of two benefit music CD’s; Odd Squad “On the Beat” volume 1 & 2”. Chris is also involved in video and soundtrack production on a variety of Odd Squad film initiatives. Chris is the founding director of the “Junior Hockey Drug Education and Awareness Program” and continues to work with players to deliver drug-education workshops to school-aged children across Western Canada.



Al Arsenault, B.Sc., B.Ed., M.S.M.
Al Arsenault is a Founding Member of Odd Squad Productions Society who has lectured extensively and abroad. He spent many years policing the Downtown Eastside where he gained much insight into the drug problems plaguing our society. Al retired from policing since 2006, but has remained extremely active within Odd Squad Productions Society. Al is regarded as an expert in the martial arts and non-firearm weaponry. He is a published author as well as a film-maker. Al Arsenault has given presentations to tens of thousands of students throughout the world. He has received many awards including the Chief Constable’s Award, Police Officer of the Year Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for meritorious service.



Doug Spencer
Doug joined the Vancouver Police Department as a police officer in March 1990, becoming a third generation VPD member. Doug is a court recognized expert on gangs in British Columbia. Doug co-created a presentation titled “The Truth about Gangs” which he has presented hundreds of times. He is a member of Odd Squad Productions Society. In 2008, Doug received the Police Officer of the Year Award. In 2009, Doug retired from the Vancouver Police Department, and became a member of the Transit Police Service where he continues to identify and monitor at-risk and gang-involved youth.